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Music A Level at The Billericay School

Course description

You will probably choose to study music if you are a competent instrumentalist or singer (min. ABSRM grade V), have a strong interest in composing your own music and a desire to learn about music history, advanced harmony and theory.

Course content

A level Performing
You will perform as a soloist and/or in ensembles in a style of your choice. Any instrument (s) or voice (s) are acceptable as part of a 6-10 minute assessed recital performance.

Recitals are externally assessed via audio-visual recording. Depending on the performance and compositional pathway recommended to the student, the recital is either 25% or 35% of the total A level.

A level Composing
You will compose 2 compositions, one of which is to a brief set by the exam board and 1 which is to a brief set by you. Depending on the compositional pathway chosen/recommended for the student, some students will also complete 3 short technical studies. Compositions are externally assessed via audio recordings. Depending on the performance and compositional pathway recommended to the student, the recital is either 25% or 35% of the total A level.

A level Listening and appraising
This is a 2 hour and 30 minutes written exam paper which includes aural extracts. This exam is 40% of the A level. In preparation for this exam you will be listening, investigating a variety of musical styles, and understanding chords and lines. You will have studied a selection of instrumental and vocal works, increasing aural skills and use of musical elements through listening and studying scores.

Entry requirements

To be successful in this course, you need:

A C or above at GCSE Music is desirable and helpful to you but not essential. Music theory standard grade 5 and grade 5 performance standard on an instrument;
  • A secure instrumental facility;
  • To have a TRUE passion to study Music.


A levels: all examinations will take place at the end of the course.

The AS qualification is completely separate and most students will sit this at the end of year 12 study. Both exams contain an externally assessed coursework component which is 60% of the total mark.

Future opportunities

The course provides a sound basis for students wishing to proceed to higher education courses in music or performing arts. It can lead to careers in teaching, performing and composition, as well as related areas in publishing and media.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Billericay School directly.

Last updated date: 27 January 2017
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Key information


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    • The size of our Sixth Form gives us greater resources than smaller institutions and this means we are more able to offer a wider range of subject and course combinations at A level & BTEC level 3.

      • A highly qualified and experienced staff that have a proven track record of working successfully at A level.
      • Excellent study facilities and subject resources (including state of the art media and music facilities).
      • Personalised care and support through a personal tutor and the Sixth Form pastoral team, supporting and monitoring your progress and acting as a contact point with home.
      • An exceptional curriculum enrichment programme.
      • Access to the school’s sport and gym facilities.
      • Outstanding guidance and support for university, employment or training.